The Holy Spirit pt 4: The Spirit and Militancy

I’ll probably regret posting this.  (Isn’t that a great opening line?)

I’ve been working on a sermon about the Holy Spirit, which I will preach next Sunday (on Pentecost).  One of the things that I keep coming back to is how the Holy Spirit should make Christians “militant”.

He doesn’t make us militant in the way the world understands “militancy”; I think that’s one of the great mistakes American Christians are making in the current “Culture War”.

“Militant” = not the passive, hiding and hanging on, fortress mentality some Christians exhibit.

The Spirit’s path is a third path.

The first path is to use government (which means using force on those who disagree) to bring in the Kingdom of God.  This never works.  There have been thousands of attempts to join the Christian faith to human power, and the Christian faith never survives the operation.  Human nature is sinful and corruptible.

People who would rule us in God’s name are the last people we should trust.

The second path is quietism.  This is to sit back, examining our fingernails and praying passively for Jesus to come quickly and rescue us.  Ministering to one another, withdrawing from the corrupt society around us. In the end, this is Dreher’s “Benedict option,” isn’t it?

The world can go to hell, just get us out of this mess.

The third path is engagement with the gospel lived out.  The third path is persuasion.  The third path is respect for those we disagree with, not scorn.  Don’t own the libs, love them and pray for them and lay down your life for them.

The third path is to imitate Jesus, the way he treated those who opposed him and ignored him.  It is to imitate Paul, who “filled up in his body what was lacking in the sufferings of Christ.”

The third path is to pray ACTIVELY, to pray in ways that lead us to act.  And the acts are acts of love, not force, not anger.  Again, “Anger the path to the Dark Side is.”

 

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